In today’s digital age, the lines between different communication channels are being blurred. It’s now considered perfectly normal to be texting your boss over a work issue during off-hours or to include your Instagram handle on a job application. This is especially true for the ways that brands communicate with their customer base. No longer is social media just a place for companies to display their products or generate leads, it’s now a full-blown customer service channel and should be prioritized as such.
8 Strategies for Leveling Up Your Company’s Social CX
Take a look at the eight strategies below to learn how your brand’s “social CX” can improve and lead to more satisfied customers.
1. Invest in the Right Channels
First things first, you should make sure you’re putting resources behind developing the channels that make the most sense for your brand. In some cases, this will be fairly obvious. For example, makeup and fashion brands geared to a Millennial audience should focus their efforts on Instagram, while companies in the tech and B2B space should stick to LinkedIn. But, what if your company doesn’t fall into one of those distinct categories? What about harder-to-define social channels like Facebook and Snapchat?
As always, the answer lies in thorough market research and preparation. Figure out who your ideal customer is and who your brand best appeals to, then figure out where they hang out online. If it turns out that your core audience is mainly middle-aged women, you should pivot your strategy to focus on Pinterest, or if users regularly talk about your industry on Twitter, then establish a brand presence there.
2. Make Sure All Departments Understand the Value of Social
The next step is to make sure your team is aligned when it comes to social media strategy. You won’t be able to use your social accounts as effective customer communication channels if company execs, customer service representatives, and social media managers are all doing things differently.
These roles, along with any other relevant departments, should be working together to create a seamless experience between social media posting and customer engagement. This includes how to respond to customer complaints on social media, deciding which teams are responsible for which types of communications, and jointly creating content that is tailored to buyer personas.
3. Maintain a Consistent Brand Voice
Part of the collaborative efforts between social media managers, upper management, and customer service teams should include establishing a brand voice that will appeal to and resonate with customers. Once you’ve settled on a tone that best fits your brand, be it cool and collected or bubbly and excited, you’ll need to maintain that tone everywhere your brand can be found online.
Not only do your website pages, product descriptions, and social post captions need to reflect this voice, but your online customer service reps, chatbots, and interactions with followers should as well. Consumers value consistency and your brand should feel recognizable and familiar whether a customer is reading a blog post or chatting about an issue through Facebook Messenger.
4. Post Consistent Content, Consistently
In case you couldn’t guess, consistency is also key with the actual content you share. Like we mentioned above, most customers want to engage with brands that are constant and trustworthy, and show them content that’s relevant and recognizable. In addition to keeping a consistent brand voice, this also includes the medium of the content (photos, short videos, long videos, text only etc.), the look and quality of this content (color scheme, filters), the purpose of the content (informative vs transactional), and when and how often you post.
We live in a time of increasingly short attention spans, and just one tone-deaf post can be enough to lose a follower, and therefore a potential customer. This isn’t to say you can’t get creative with your social campaigns, but they need to always stay on-brand.
5. Respond to Both Good and Bad Reviews
Today’s customers have high expectations when it comes to follower engagement. Depending on the scale of your brand, it will, of course, be impossible to respond to every comment, but you should be interacting with your followers every day. This shows that you actually care what your customers have to say and are willing to take the time to engage with them.
And although replying to positive feedback is easy enough (oftentimes a like or emoji reply is enough), a brand’s true character comes out when responding to negative reviews. This is your chance to not only turn that customer around but also show your audience that your business has integrity and care for its customers. When responding to negative reviews on social, it will be especially important for customer service and social management teams to collaborate on the best solution to present the unsatisfied customer.
6. Above All, Respond Quickly!
As we mentioned earlier, we’re dealing with a population that has an increasingly short attention span and a need for instant gratification. If a customer is taking the time to direct message your brand on social media, you need to be responding to them as quickly as possible. Social media has become the new customer service interface - you wouldn’t expect a customer to wait on the phone for four hours, would you? They shouldn’t have to wait four hours on a Messenger reply either.
Because it can be extremely time-consuming to have someone constantly monitoring social DM’s, many companies are turning to chatbots to screen initial messages, which can then be escalated to an in-person customer service rep if need be.
7. Make a Human Connection
If customers are reaching out on social media, it’s because they want to communicate with an actual human. Show your followers the personality behind the brand by listening to what they have to say, and responding authentically. Most people don’t want to feel like they’re interacting with a faceless corporation, but that they’re interacting with the people who make up that corporation. Running a business’s social media accounts is a balancing act between professionalism and approachability, which is why it’s so important to establish your brand voice ahead of time and work with multiple teams to iron out your company’s online presence.
When it comes down to it, creating a relatable, human connection with customers on social is what will serve you best. A good example of this is the shift in strategy for fast food brands over the past couple of years. On Twitter especially, companies like Arby’s and Wendy’s have been making a splash by incorporating an irreverent sense of humor combined with a willingness to engage with fans and even other brands. Their online presence is relatable, memorable, and certainly not stuffy.
8. Take Insights From Social to Improve Overall CX
Social media is one of the most valuable places for brands to track customer sentiment because it’s often the most honest. Though online reviews and other channels are also important, unique insights can be gained from social because users feel more comfortable expressing feedback and interacting with each other from the safety of the comments section, vs a more formal platform like a customer feedback survey. Use the knowledge you gain about your customers from social as a way to improve not just your company’s social CX, but your overall customer experience as well.
Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about how companies can improve their social CX:
Contact Chattermill today to learn how you can track and analyze customer feedback to improve your brand’s social CX and beyond.